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Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
#515850 01/18/20 03:02 PM
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I would like to plant some trees around a 2 acre pond that I am planning (right now I have a 0.15 acre dugout that is working well). I am lined up to plant the trees in the spring so that I can start them growing while I wait for the right time to dig the pond.

I know deciduous are not a good idea. My preference is to plant mostly white pine, but they shed quite a few needles, so Iím wondering if I should instead do mainly spruce, particularly Norway spruce. My strong preference from an aesthetic point of view is to use white pine, but given this is a decision Iíll be locked into for a lifetime, Iím wondering if the needle fall might cause me to one day regret not going with something like Norway spruce instead.

Average depth will be 8 feet with max depths at 15 feet. There will be strong circulation and lots of bottom aeration. My hope is that with this the pond can easily ďovercomeĒ any needles that fall into it, but Iím hoping for a second opinion from the experts here. What do you think?

Re: Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
ted_1209 #515853 01/19/20 03:54 AM
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White Pine is a brittle wood, branches break easily with ice or snow buildup, and like you said, they drop a lot of needles.

Spruce or Tamarack?

The things I'd look at when picking a tree is USDA growing zone, growth speed, needle retention, adaptability to your soil type and moisture content.


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Re: Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
ted_1209 #515859 01/19/20 06:32 AM
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Thanks esshup, appreciate the response. You make a good point that white pines are brittle. I think that will be ok as everything is far from away from any buildings. Do you think the pond will be able to decompose the needles each year, or will it be a growing problem?

I did quite a bit of searching on the forums but couldnít find much info on the decomposition of pine needles, so any thoughts or experience are appreciated.

Re: Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
ted_1209 #515860 01/19/20 06:45 AM
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Some of us have bald cypress in and near our ponds and I have not heard of any issues from the annual needle drop, but maybe other species are more problematic? In my neck of the woods, I prefer spruce, fir, and Douglass fir (not a true fir) to white pines, but that is just personal preference. Here, white pines get thin as they age while spruce maintain a tighter foliage structure.

Re: Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
RAH #515871 01/19/20 01:37 PM
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I don't know about White Pine needles. As the trees mature there are a LOT of needles, a LOT. I've seen 10" dia. branches snap off of white pine trees due to ice and snow.

If I had my preference I would plant trees so that no organic matter makes it to the ponds, be it needles or leaves. The ponds will have less nutrient loading without organics galling into them than other ponds that have leaves/needles falling into them. Less nutrient loading means less algae problems down the road.


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Re: Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
ted_1209 #515933 01/20/20 06:34 PM
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Thank you both for the input. Iím going to try some white pines. Iím hoping I can make it work. Hopefully I donít regret it in 20 years!

Re: Types of Coniferous Trees Around Ponds
ted_1209 #516046 01/23/20 06:57 PM
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A rule of thumb for planting trees - no matter how far apart they are planted, eventually they will be too close together.
The first 10 years we planted trees, the next 10 years we pruned to allow for mowing, the last 10 years we've been thinning them out.


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